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Occupational Safety and Health

Overview

Kim & Chang’s Occupational Safety and Health (“OSH”) Practice is widely recognized as the leading practice group in Korea, and has a proven track record of helping clients successfully handle OSH issues.

The size and the cumulative expertise of our Practice enables us to render effective and timely advice to our clients concerning challenging OSH matters.  Specifically, our Practice consists of more than 20 professionals, including lawyers with substantial experience in OSH matters; former government officials from the Ministry of Employment and Labor and the Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency; and patent lawyers with in-depth expertise in the mechanical, electrical, electronic and chemical fields.  Our OSH Practice possesses a “one-stop service” capability, addressing substantially all of our client’s potential needs, with market-leading expertise in all major service areas, such as site assessment, crisis management in response to occupational accidents, regulatory compliance review and consultation, and training on occupational illnesses, disputes and government investigations.

Moreover, our OSH Practice routinely draws on the resources and capabilities of the other practices at Kim & Chang, including the Environment Practice, to help our clients navigate through the growing complexity of the regulatory regime in Korea. 

Key Servicesshow

Our OSH Practice provides a comprehensive legal service on issues relating to the Occupational Safety and Health Act (the “OSHA”), the Act on the Safety Control of Hazardous Substances, the High-Pressure Gas Safety Control Act and other statutes on firefighting, construction safety, electrical safety and energy safety.

 
General Advisory Services

Our Practice advises clients on establishing OSH policies and internal regulations that are tailored to their specific businesses and risk profiles under the OSH regime of Korea.  We also advise on the following matters:

 
  • Statutory applications and authoritative interpretations of laws and regulations
  • Technology to prevent occupational accidents, etc.
  • Development of OSH policies
  • Implementation and amendment of OSH-related standards, including policies, guidelines and internal regulations
  • Compliance with regulations on high-pressure gases and dangerous articles within workplace
 
Compliance Audit

Businesses have to constantly develop and execute business plans in the face of challenging market and regulatory environments, which can involve, among others, installation or transfer of plants.  Our OSH Practice advises companies on conducting compliance audit to ensure that their business plans are implemented without interference and identify in advance (and improve, as applicable) OSH-related weaknesses that may expose companies and their officers and employees to civil or criminal liabilities.  The following are examples of our services.

 
  • Compliance audit and consultation on licenses for establishment, expansion and transfer of business places
  • Evaluation of internal regulations and compliance audit (including with respect to the affiliates in and out of Korea and business partners)
  • “Health check” on operational systems such as the Occupational Safety and Health Committee, and appointment of managers who oversee safety, health and firefighting
  • Analysis and diagnosis of occupational illness issues
  • Review on OSH issues in collective bargaining agreements
  • Response to safety certifications and safety inspections
 
Accident Response

The occurrence of a fatal accident at a business place can give rise to a number of difficult legal issues, such as civil and criminal liability of the management, administrative sanctions including immediate employment or work suspension order, and settlement with victims and their families for civil damages.  Our OSH Practice helps our clients respond to such accidents by promptly identifying facts and causes, conducting risk analysis and proposing solutions to help normalize companies’ business operations.  Major consultation topics are as follow.

 
  • Analysis of sanctions and response measures in connection with government supervision and inspection
  • Response measures to fatal accidents at each of the Ministry of Employment and Labor, police and prosecution levels
  • Response measures to administrative impositions (administrative fine, suspension of business, work, and employment, and early lifting thereof, and special supervision) and litigation
  • Consultation on response measures to epidemiologic surveys and the Illness Diagnosis Commission on occupational illness
  • Analysis of labor-management issues and recommendation for response measures
  • Analysis of complaints by local communities and civic groups and recommendation for response measures
  • Comprehensive consultation for media-related matters such as preparation of press releases and interview response measures
 
Information Services

We provide our clients with regular updates, and keep our clients informed of key legislations and amendments as well as relevant developments in regulatory oversight by the relevant regulatory authorities.  We also provide training sessions prescribed under the OSHA as well as OSH-related lectures customized to the clients’ needs.

 
  • Provision of updates on legislations and amendments (legislative developments, summary, analysis on business implications)
  • Provision of key information from competent authorities (legislative developments, policies, labor trends, etc.)
  • Provision of lectures and training sessions

Key Experienceshow

Our Practice’s key clients include the following:

 
  • Manufacturers with production facilities
  • Construction companies with new, expansion and maintenance projects
  • Logistics companies using high-risk machinery and equipment
  • Companies storing, using and/or manufacturing oil, dangerous goods, chemical substances and/or related products
  • Companies hiring many workers engaged in emotional labor (finance, distribution, etc.)
  • Companies operating research facilities

 

Representative works that our Practice has advised on include the following:

 
  • Advised a chemical company and a semiconductor company on occupational accident issues including consultation for an epidemiological survey. 
  • Consulted a semiconductor company on acknowledgement of occupational accident regarding employee death. 
  • Represented logistics, energy, chemical and other companies in responding to various accident types, such as explosion, fire, suffocation, fall and chemical leakage (support for agreement with victims’ families, response to administrative sanctions including special supervision and work suspension order, response to agencies such as the media and the National Assembly, assessment of civil and criminal liabilities and pleading, etc.).
  • Audited OSH compliance system of a semiconductor company’s plant in China. 
  • Conducted compliance audit for a pharmaceutical company and a food company on the OSHA, the Act on the Safety Control of Hazardous Substances and the High-Pressure Gas Safety Control Act, and advised on improvement measures. 
  • Represented construction companies in providing a comprehensive response including reviewing legal risks concerning deaths of employees caused by fall at worksites and agreement with victims’ families. 
  • Consulted many companies such as a cosmetics company and a logistics company on their safety and health management system including appointment of safety and health managers. 
  • Advised a semiconductor company on employer liability issues regarding occupational accidents. 
  • Reviewed improvement of safety and health management system of a food company and a machinery company. 
  • Developed OSH-related internal regulations and checklists for a logistics company. 
  • Prepared customized manuals on responses to fatal accidents for different types of companies in various industries.
  • Reviewed voluntary safety report obligation issues for an energy company and a chemical company.
  • Drafted customer service employee protection manuals for a logistics company and a machinery company.
  • Conducted training sessions on the OSHA and safety and health management issues for employees of several companies in the chemical, food, finance and entertainment industries. 

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